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‘Just dead empty, not a soul’: Wichitan shares what it’s like to live in China in the midst of the coronavirus


BEIJING, China (KSNW) – A city of 20 million people has turned into a ghost town. That is at least how born and raised Wichitan, Brian Records, is feeling about his current home in Beijing, China.

He says the coronavirus is making life surreal.

“Just dead empty, not a soul. Looks like a movie set,” he said. “Everything has stopped, all the businesses closed and everybody is worried about the same thing,” said Records.

After graduating from WSU in 2015, Records moved to China in order to teach. Due to the coronavirus, school is now canceled, and he is forced to create an online curriculum. For the most part, he is stuck inside. If he leaves, he says he has to have his temperature checked before he can enter a building. Records says one time sticks out to him the most.

“The guy said, ‘Your temperature is high. Go stand over there!’ and I’m just like ‘what?’ you know and everyone is looking at me. Everyone is like, ‘That guy’s the guy, he’s got it’ and I’m like, “I don’t got it! I don’t got it!”

Fortunately for him, it was a false alarm.

“At the time, I was like is this the moment? Am I sick?” he wondered.

Now he’s extra cautious.

“I keep bottles of alcohol on me at all times. I wash my hands outside all the time, wear gloves a lot. Anytime you go into the house you run to the sink,” said Records.

His mom, Becky Lucke, is back in Wichita and says she knows her son is struggling with the isolation.

“He is somebody who usually has a lot of friends, and they visit and go to different restaurants and so they’re not allowed to be in groups or go out together. So, that’s a big change for him,” she said.

Records says in Beijing people are running into a supply shortage for some items.

“Every pharmacy has a sign on the door that says no masks. Every single one.”

Records wants people to know despite the protocols, he is okay.

“It is not fixed but people have a better idea of what it’s going to be like. It’s more like, let’s wait this out. We’re not all gonna die,” he said.

Records says since he is an American citizen he could fly back to Wichita if he wanted. The only condition is the flight needs to be direct to the U.S. and those are far and few currently.


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